‘Too early to say’ when United Kingdom lockdown will ease

22 Janvier, 2021, 04:20 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Provided by The Independent

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was "too early to say" when the nation will be able to start easing its nationwide lockdown as he warned the public to prepare for a "tough few weeks" ahead in the wake of grim new coronavirus data.

Britain posted a fresh record in daily deaths on Wednesday for the second day running, figures Mr Johnson has called "appalling".

"I think it's too early to say when we'll be able to lift some of the restrictions", Johnson told broadcasters.

But he warned the REACT findings showed "the contagiousness of the new variant" identified in the United Kingdom before Christmas.

The report, which researchers said does not yet reflect the impact of the national lockdown, also showed there were "worrying suggestions of a recent uptick in infections". "There is no doubt, it does spread very fast indeed".

England is entering week four of a seven-week lockdown which has seen bars, restaurants and most schools close.

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While deaths have been rising, the number of new cases has fallen from a peak of 68,000 on Jan 8 to 38,000 on Wednesday.

After testing more than 142,900 volunteers in England between January 6 and 15, they found that one in 63 people were infected.

Professor Joe Harrison, chief executive of Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said the hospital had seen more than twice the number of patients in the second wave than the first, and now had 186 patients with Covid-19.

Lateral flow tests are less sensitive than polymerase chain reaction tests, which are considered the gold standard, but can return results in just half an hour.

"It's not more deadly but it is much more contagious and the numbers are very great".

The team behind the vaccine from Oxford and AstraZeneca is undertaking feasibility studies to reconfigure the technology, the newspaper said, citing a confirmation from Oxford University.

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